JOAACI was a smart chaser at his best under rules and justified favouritism in good style in the Men’s Open, staying on well to beat Quizzling and Turbulance. “I bought him privately out of David Pipe’s yard last March,” said owner Duncan Odgers, who was enjoying his first success. Joaaci is trained by the owner’s partner Pat Shaw at Looe, and was ridden by 25-year-old John Monk, formerly attached to the Pipe yard, but now with Alan King at Barbury Castle.
Apollo Blaze made a bold bid to give the Shaw yard a double in a good Ladies’ Open, eventually finishing a creditable third behind Zabenz and Rockwithacaveman. The latter looked the likely winner jumping the second last, but was readily outpaced by Zabenz rounding the final bend. 13-year-old Zabenz was giving Diana Hobbs her second success of the season. Diana’s mother Sarah Hobbs owns the veteran chaser who has won races in New Zealand, Australia and USA in his time. “He needs to be fresh and likes good ground,” said Sarah Hobbs who played her part by hunting the gelding with the Devon & Somerset Staghounds. “I hunted him on Saturdays when I didn’t have to go racing,” she added.
Five of the six contestants still held a chance jumping the third last in the Confined, and it was Cookies Bank who came home the stronger under Richard Woollacott. Richard trains this game 12-year-old for Sue Condry. “He has won five times now and always does his best,” said the owner.
Think On This was a shock 25-1 winner of the Restricted. The winner was saddled by Charlotte Budd and was a first winner for 19-year-old jockey James Best, another graduate from the Philip Hobbs yard. “He won his maiden at Little Windsor last year but suffered a nasty over-reach at Bratton Down afterwards.” “We were held up last month by the bad weather and I thought he needed it today,” reported the trainer, who jointly owns the seven-year-old with Lanta Gillett.
Herefordshire-based Steve Flook supplied first and third in the Intermediate. Rumbury Grey took the honours under Paul Tolman, with his other runner No Virtue filling third spot. The winner was bred by his owner Christine Rogers. “We actually travelled all the way to the course with these two horses when this meeting was frozen off two weeks ago”, said the successful trainer who is likely to go hunter chasing with the winner.
The rest of the afternoon belonged to jockey Neil Harris who rode the winners of both divisions of the Open Maiden. Neil also trains 5-year-old Bowntobebad who won the first section on his initial racecourse appearance. “We bought him at Goffs sales last summer and I also own him in conjunction with Geoffrey Brown,” said Harris. The jockey’s double was completed when six-year-old Master Flight, trained by Camilla Scott, outstayed Light Touch in the final race.
Open Maiden Division 1
Open Maiden Division 2